🔴 The highest amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide ever of 417.1 ppm was recorded in May 2020 at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. (Source: NOAA)
CO2 is one of many greenhouse gases and the largest contributor to climate change.
In fact we need the greenhouse effect, because without it it would be too cold on Earth for humans.
For thousands of years carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have been constant. Small variations are normal and only since humans have been producing tons of greenhouse gases, the CO2 levels have significantly risen an contribute to raising the Earth’s average temperature.
Since 1850, global emissions from fossil fuels have risen steadily.
Through our industrial productions and the burning of resources such as coal, oil and gase, we produce about 32 billion tons carbon dioxide (CO2) which adds to the heating of the atmosphere.
Plants absorb a quarter of the CO2 we emit, the seas absorb a quarter as well, but half of our CO2 emissions remain in our atmosphere for roughly 120 years. This means, that even if we would stop CO2 emissions tomorrow, the effects would still remain for a long time and temperatures would still rise.
We need to act fast.
Sources and further reading:
IPCC Special Report, Global warming of 1.5 degrees, 2018
Atlas der Globalisierung, Welt in Bewegung, Le Monde Diplomatique, 2018 (german)
UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)